Fundraising News: Why I Give - Helen Howard

Helen Howard, 38, from Telford, works for Amtrak Express Parcels and recently took part in the Great South Run for disability charity Motability.

She also supports three local charities, including the Severn Hospice.

How did you become involved with Motability? After my operation for lung cancer in May, I was told to take regular exercise to build up my strength.

A colleague convinced me to take part in the BUPA Great South Run in October to raise funds for Motability, our company's charity of the year.

There were nine of us from Amtrak Express Parcels in all. It took me several hours, but completing the 10-mile run was a real achievement for me given that I could hardly walk after my operation.

How much money did you raise? I raised £525. The money will help people with disabilities buy suitable cars. My plan now is to enter the Great Manchester Run in May and run in the 2006 London Marathon.

Do you support other charities? Yes, I make one-off donations to my local NSPCC and the Compton Hospice in Wolverhampton. I have supported it for several years. I also donate to the Severn Hospice in Telford, where I live. I went to one of the organisation's tea parties a few weeks ago and bought a lot of things for my four children for Christmas. About £2,500 was raised in total.

It needs another £5m in order to help it complete the construction of the hospice, and it will take another £1.5m to run the hospice each year.

How much money do you give to charity each year? I take part in six fundraising events and give about £1,000.

What do you bring to the charities you help? Support and finance.

What is your preferred method of giving? To go and support charity events. I am not really keen on direct debit. I much prefer being directly involved.

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